There are four principal ways upon which an individual may attain Nepali citizenship. Firstly, if at the time of a person's birth, his/her father or mother is a citizen of Nepal, then such a person shall become a citizen of Nepal by descent. Otherwise, a person, who is born before April 13, 1990, within the territory of Nepal and who is domiciled permanently in Nepal, shall be a citizen of Nepal by birth.
A foreign woman, who is married to a Nepali citizen, is eligible to obtain citizenship through naturalisation upon submitting evidence of renunciation of foreign citizenship. A person who is born in Nepal from a Nepali citizen who is married to a foreign citizen and who has permanent domicile in Nepal is eligible to obtain naturalised citizenship, provided the person does not acquire citizenship of a foreign country on the basis of citizenship of the person's father.
Furthermore, a foreign citizen, who has contributed towards the progress of science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace, human welfare or Nepali industrial, financial or social development, and has fulfilled certain conditions as prescribed, may be eligible for naturalised citizenship at the discretion of the Government of Nepal. The Government of Nepal may also award honorary Nepalese citizenship to internationally renowned persons.
Under Section 10 of the Citizenship Act, the Nepali Citizenship of a Nepali citizen who voluntarily acquires the citizenship of a foreign country, shall cease to be in effect. In addition, Section 13 of the Citizenship Act, states that a person may not acquire more than one certificate of citizenship.
Article 14 of the Constitution of Nepal has a special provision applicable to Non-Resident Nepalis ("NRN"). A NRN who has acquired citizenship of a foreign country may enjoy economic, social and cultural rights in Nepal provided that residency and descent criteria are met.